of the select few to touch the $150
million mark at the US box office this |
year. Boasting the unlikely star combination of Patrick Swayze. Whoopi Goldberg and Demi Moore. this relatively unheralded entry in the summer blockbuster schedules has trumped such much—hyped efforts as Dick Tracy and Total Recall. Yet droll. perspicacious gagmcister Zucker. he of the .rlirplanc.’ and Naked Gun team. seems barely fazed by it all.
‘Wcllf he ponders for a moment. ‘I don't want to sound arrogant or anything. but I‘d have to say that I'm not actually so suprised. I mean. it‘s not because I have psychic powers or anything. but I want to and always try to make good commercial movies. and to do that properly isa long process. In this case it was two vears. so you have to go into something like that with a lot of positive energy.‘
Pundits have been putting the movie's money-spinning viability down to the fact that audiences have been looking for something a little more emotionally involving than the current slew ofexplosion-packed action specials like the Die Hard and R()l)()('()[) sequels. They've certainly found it in Ghost. which has likeable Patrick Swayze as a New York banker. murdered before his time. who remains on earth as a spirit.
Although he gains incredible new powers including the ability to walk through walls. nobody can actually see him. yet his presence somehow registers with eccentric medium Whoopi Goldberg. It is she who helps him to warn his grieving spouse Demi Moore of impending danger. while all the while he aches for a loving reunion that will cross metaphysical boundaries.
The cynics out there might carp that all this is pure calculation. but with its adept mix ofyearning romance. character comedy. impressive effects work and an undercurrent sense of danger to sustain the plot momentum. Ghost is a highly user-friendly slice of entertainment. ‘1 think I do have a sense ofwhat a large segment ofthe audience will enjoy‘ says Zucker. whose scatalogical early stage collaboration with brother David and long-running associate Jim Abrahams in the Kentucky Fried Theatre was preserved on film by John Landis before the trio started moviemaking in their own right. ‘All those years writing and also performing in our live shows gave us a pretty good idea ofwhat people would laugh at. My criteria for doing any movie is whether I can read the script and already start hearing laughter or tears. I gotta really feel that connection.‘
Already fighting to win media coverage (‘You could hardly walk into a bathroom without reading about Warren Beatty‘). Ghost also faced studio concern over its central similarity to Steven Spielberg‘s Always. but in the end enthusiasm for the project overcame all obstacles. ‘Eventually the guys at Paramount just said “I fell. we like this movie. let‘s do it!“.‘Zucker explains. ‘You know there‘ve been so many ghost-type movies but the thing about them is that the good ones have done well and the bad ones have disappeared. My theory is that if you make a good commercial movie. it'll do well.‘
Aware that he‘s just come up with a triumphant statement of the obvious. he continues. ‘()K. tnaybc that sounds stupid. so I’ll qualify it. What I mean is that ifyou make a movie that‘s a crowd pleaser and you do a decent job of advertising it you'll do well. We knew that we had the potential to make the audience laugh. to move them. and to send them out ofthe cinema buzzing. It didn't matter how many other ghost movies there were around. I had a feeling that this Ghost would make out all right. and luckily I seem to have been proved right.‘
Ghost (12) opens across ( ‘i'ntral Scotland on Fri 5 Oct. .S'ci'film listings for delails.
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I GHOST (12) Until recently top of the US box office charts. Jerry Zucker’s amiable supernatural comedy drama certainly strikes a chord with audiences. Patrick Swayze stars as the recently deceased. with medium Whoopi Goldberg trying to put him back in touch with wile Demi Moore. See preview. Cannons Edinburgh and Glasgow. the UCI chain and Edinburgh Dominion from Fri 5 Oct. I HERTAKE The first Glasgow international festival of women‘s cinema hits a busy weekend with the visit of former Truffaut associate Suzanne Schiflman and her film La Maine El La Sorciere, and a special preview of Kathryn Bigelow‘s high octane thriller Blue Steel starring Jamie Lee Curtis as atough lady cop. Glasgow Film Theatre Fri 28 and Sat29 Sept. I LONGTIME COMPANION (15) Norman Rene'sfeature debut is one ofthefirst mainstream movies to tackle the issue of the AIDS virus head on. Bruce Davison heads an ensemble cast in this touching saga of a group of friends bonding together as terminal illness inexorably reduces their number. See also preview. Glasgow Film Theatre Sun 7 to Tue 15 Oct; Edinburgh Filmhouse Mon 15 to Sat21 Oct. I NIGHTBREED (18) Horror maestro Clive Barker‘s ambitious. flawed tale of mythic cities. legendary monsters and throat-slashing mad doctors. boasts impressive creature effects. a disarming acting debut by director David Cronenberg. and a lot of trouble withthe American censors. See feature. Wide release through the Odeon and UCI chain from Fri 28 Sept. I PAPER MASK (15) Paul McGann plays a humble hospital orderly who steps into the shoes of a dead doctor and begins operating on real patients. while Amanda Oonohoe isthe nurse who helps him get away with it. Written by former doctorJohn Collee. See review. Odeons Glasgow and Edinburgh from Fri 28 Sept. I PRESUMEO INNOGENT (15) Ex-Iawyer Scott Turow's bestseller getsthe prestige big screen treatment. courtesy of veteran directorAlanJ. Pakula. Harrison Ford stars as an uprightstate prosecutor accused of the murderol his colleague Greta Scacchi. with whom he was having an aflairjust before her death. and Raul Julia shines as the brilliant lawyer out to defend him. See preview. Wide release through the Cannons and UCI chain from Fri 28 Sept.
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